Hopefully you’ve heard of this technology by now. This is the concept of a little circuit board about the size of a credit card that runs a specific flavor of Linux. This is the one I got – which is a kit that includes: the Pi, a clear case, an HDMI cable, power supply, and a 4GB SD card with the OS loaded on it already (Raspbian “wheezy”). Amazingly, I hooked a keyboard to it (there are 2 USB ports), and hooked it up to my TV with HDMI, and sure enough it booted. You go through some menus and voila, you got yourself a linux desktop. Pretty impressive!
By the way, you can get them cheaper – but from the looks of it, this is typical Linux. You have to download stuff, run command-line programs with no documentation, edit config files… I really hate that, I just want something that works – and this kit does work!
So what are the specs, you ask? This particular one:
- Raspberry Pi – Model B (512MB RAM / Revision 2)
- ARM11 500MHz CPU
- GPU supports 1080p (1920×1080?) on my big TV!
- 2 USB ports
- 1 Ethernet port (WIFI supported via a dongle)
Right now I just have this hooked to my tv to check it out. I ordered a wireless keyboard/mouse pad thing to control it. Ultimately, I bought this for a specific project – I want to have a touchscreen interface. Being a .NET developer, my first inclination is to build a web app and just use the built-in browser in full-screen. However, looks like a lot of people use Python, which is an easy language – and there are UI toolkits available for it. I am going to head down that road to see how easy/hard it is to do.
I’ll post back here once I make some progress. I’ve held out for a long time on getting one of these because I just didn’t know what I would do with it. Now I have an idea, but I don’t know how easy it will be to implement!